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Theology

posted by kaptein_kaffe on - last edited - Viewed by 1.6K users

Discussing religion is generally a very bad idea on the internet, but there are a lot of down to earth and rational people on this forum so I decided to give it a go.

I want to hear your beliefs. Also, try to keep an open mind and show respect to other people's opinions. I don't care weather you're a fanatic catholic, fanatic atheist or whatever. Arguing about "who's right" is just a terrible cliche.

Personally I believe that there is a god. I'm not agnostic, I believe in god, but that's just my own spiritual reflection on it. I don't judge other religions and say that "this is right", it's more along the lines of Baruch de Spinoza's take on it where you see god as everything. Maybe there's a word for what that is, I don't know. I prefer to look at everything that is beyond our understanding with humility. Most of my religious knowledge lies within catholicism and I generally agree with the ten commandments, but I also believe that the religion is blurred for the sake of politics, ways of maintaining order and fanatic influences (edit: + things that are lost in translation). In short, I'm a read between the lines kind of guy.

My knowledge on the subject is limited, so it's possible that I won't be able to keep up with the discussion. I'd just like to hear your views :)

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  • One can use science to support almost any hypothesis.

    And I do know that God exists. Just because I'm not able to scientically explain that God exists and that He makes Himself known to me, in a manner that you might accept as sufficient proof, that doesn't mean that He doesn't exist. It either means that I'm not very good at arguing my case or you're stubborn enough to not want to accept it. Either way, I'm absolutely certain that He exists and that He cares about us.

    I would encourage you all to read More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell. Among other things, he writes about how you should use historical and legal proofs, not the scientific method, to prove/disprove the authenticity of the Bible and, by extension, the divinity of Jesus Christ.

  • I was born of pretty proud Mormon stock, with believing ancestors pulling handcarts and even giving Joseph Smith a cow. I grew up as such with going to church every Sunday for the full 4 hours, fasting every first Sunday of the month, getting baptized when I was eight, and doing all the silly Mormon stuff like going on a pioneer trek. It wasn't until fairly recently that I left the faith as well as religion in general. I was a very strong believer in the faith even to passionately defending/pushing my beliefs when it it was erm... inappropriate, while heavily criticizing other people of other faiths.

    I wasn't even really struggling in my faith or whatnot. It was just simply sudden revelation that applied to all the study of world religions as well as my inborn skepticism and curiosity. I remember it coming to me as wondering what if there actually were no god. From right there I realized that I had been purposely blocking logical evidence that could have easily been backed up of the naturalistic nature of the world, while blindly accepting the supernatural. And with that I realized that if there had been one true religion, then what I had considered inconsolable proof would have been accepted by all.

    It was a fairly hard time for me briefly trying to cope with the idea that I wouldn't live forever (as well as upset parents). I felt so lost and upset that there really wasn't any purpose to my life. Why was life worth living if I had nothing to live for? It wasn't soon after until I found myself having such a grand time with close friends that I realized that I didn't need to have some divine purpose to have something worth living for. I began enjoying life as it is right now. I'm feel extremely lucky to be able to live right now and I only wish to make this crazy ride called life just as enjoyable for other people.

    So I guess I'm what most folks would call a Secular Humanist. I have no problem with folks calling me this, however, I am an Atheist before anything else. That said, I do think that many religions do have some good parts to them that emphasize charity, kindness, and the progression of mankind that I do commend greatly. I have considered attending some Unitarian Universalist meetings because I do love meeting new people and chummy comraderies, but at the moment I have not. Perhaps in the future. I'm also kinda a dork and go to sleep listening to lectures about science, philosophy, and atheism. haha

    In the end, I guess I feel that I'm fine with people believing in whatever they wish to believe as long as they don't try to force those beliefs on me or others who don't share those beliefs. :D

    Also, for I think this is a good video talking about the misconception about idea that scientists claim to know everything.

  • @Chyron8472 said: One can use science to support almost any hypothesis.

    You are confusing "sceince" with religion here. The God card (God is omnipotent and moves works in mysterious ways) can be used to explain anything or support any hypothesis. Science is about the search for truths and facts. The only hypotheses fully supported by science are those which at this point in time are supported by all evidence, and contradicted by none.


    And I do know that God exists. Just because I'm not able to scientically explain that God exists and that He makes Himself known to me, in a manner that you might accept as sufficient proof, that doesn't mean that He doesn't exist. It either means that I'm not very good at arguing my case or you're stubborn enough to not want to accept it. Either way, I'm absolutely certain that He exists and that He cares about us.

    I'm fine with that. Accepting that belief in God is despite of scientific evidence, not because of it, is all I'm arguing.

  • I haven't read the whole thread, so i might be a bit off topic (i'm mostly reacting to the last two threads (EDIT : okay, to the two threads BEFORE the last two, which have been posted while i was writing)) but does it really matter if those things are "true" or not ?

    I'm an atheist myself, but i think one can chose to believe in what jesus (for instance) SAID without caring if the guy actually existed or not. Sure, we now know some stuff that contradicts what the bible says, but so what ? One can still chose to believe that something did create the universe, etc, etc etc...
    Who really cares if it happened in 7 days or millions of years ? That stuff is mostly symbolic anyway.

    I'm currently reading Joseph Campbell's books on the structure of myth (The Hero with a Thousand Faces), and i love the idea that all myth, no matter where they come from, are expressions of the same, basic, existential questions of mankind. The WAY in which they are told doesn't really matter, it's what the stuff means that's important.

  • @Chyron8472 said: And I do know that God exists. Just because I'm not able to scientically explain that God exists and that He makes Himself known to me, in a manner that you might accept as sufficient proof, that doesn't mean that He doesn't exist. It either means that I'm not very good at arguing my case or you're stubborn enough to not want to accept it. Either way, I'm absolutely certain that He exists and that He cares about us.

    In my opinion, you can't be positive about something without a certain amount of proof or evidence. Sure, you can assume that God exists, but to suggest that somebody would be stubborn to disagree with you is wrong. There is only a handful of proof for the existence of God, so anybody who disagrees that God exists is, in fact, neutral rather than stubborn.

    @Chyron8472 said: I would encourage you all to read More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell. Among other things, he writes about how you should use historical and legal proofs, not the scientific method, to prove/disprove the authenticity of the Bible and, by extension, the divinity of Jesus Christ.

    I'm not 100% sure what you mean so this response could be meaningless, but you can't prove the method by which something happened just by proving that it happened.

    An analogy to explain what I mean better: Say somebody wrote an autobiographical book, and in that book they wrote "twenty years ago, when I was a child, I burned down my shed using my uncle's makeshift flamethrower." If you were to go down to that person's childhood home and see the remnants of a burnt shed, you would confirm the validity of the claim "I burned down my shed". You would not, however, confirm the valifity of the claim "I burned down my shed using my uncle's makeshift flamethrower."

    Similarly, if you were to assess the claim "Many years ago, the world was flooded by an angry God", you could use scientific methods to prove that there was, indeed, a flood around the time of the claim. You could therefore confirm the validity of the claim "Many years ago, the world was flooded". However, you would be unable to confirm the validity of the claim "Many years ago, the world was flooded by an angry God". Such a claim is unknowable, hence my agnosticism.

  • @Fealiks said: In my opinion, you can't be positive about something without a certain amount of proof or evidence. Sure, you can assume that God exists, but to suggest that somebody would be stubborn to disagree with you is wrong. There is only a handful of proof for the existence of God, so anybody who disagrees that God exists is, in fact, neutral rather than stubborn.

    But ain't that the whole point of faith ?
    Believing without demanding proof ?

  • @Fealiks said: Similarly, if you were to assess the claim "Many years ago, the world was flooded by an angry God", you could use scientific methods to prove that there was, indeed, a flood around the time of the claim. You could therefore confirm the validity of the claim "Many years ago, the world was flooded". However, you would be unable to confirm the validity of the claim "Many years ago, the world was flooded by an angry God". Such a claim is unknowable, hence my agnosticism.

    There is archeological evidence of a flood around the Black Sea area at the appropriate time (town remnants at the bottom of the Black Sea, etc...). It looks as though the Mediterranean overflowed into the Black Sea, maybe because of a glacier melt or shift. The flood definitely did not cover the entire earth, but was pretty big.

    There are also comparable myths from other cultures to support this such as Gilgamesh and a Roman/Greek myth that I can't quite remember at the moment...I think Zeus had something to do with it.

  • @Alcoremortis said: The flood definitely did not cover the entire earth, but was pretty big.

    ...but the point is that you can't prove that an angry god did this.

    Just to be clear, you're talking about this, right?

  • Yup. I was just agreeing to what Fealicks said, but with a bit more proof. I actually didn't know about the name of the theory, I just watched an archeology/documentary a few years ago and though it was pretty sweet.:D

  • @Fealiks said: In my opinion, you can't be positive about something without a certain amount of proof or evidence.




    In ages past, people used the tools of observation available to them to "prove," using then modern science, that the Earth was flat or that the Sun revolved around the Earth or that wood contained the element of fire and just needed a little coaxing to reveal itself.

    It used to be said that eggs were good for you, then studies were done and eggs were deemed to be bad. Now they're thought to be good again.

    When I was a baby, it was taught that parents should lay their babies on their stomachs so they don't choke if they vomit in the night. Now it's taught that babies should lie on their backs so that they don't suffocate on their sheets. Sure, there is evidence that babies who lie on their backs are less apt to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but noone really even knows what causes SIDS. It's just a syndrome people created for infant deaths that defy current explanation. In fact, there are many medical conditions out there that can not be explained by science when using our current levels of knowledge and technology.


    Why is it so hard to believe something that you can't explain by using the scientific method? Scientific explanation changes its mind all the time about why things happen, not to mention the plethora of things around us that are inexplicable by only using such methods.

    If the scientific method holds the unequivocal solution to the knowledge of all things, then explain to me why objects of mass attract each other (that is, explain why the laws of gravity and magnetism exist.) You can't explain why it exists. You just know that it does. You can prove that it does, so far as your level of understanding can explain, but you don't know why it does. For that, you need faith in why because you can't readily explain it.

    The scientific method can't explain everything.

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